Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back

Know the Law: Some Data Collecting Requires Disclosures

Written by: Kevin Lin

Published in the Union Leader (12/5/2016)

Q: My website allows customers to create user accounts, saves their contact information and tracks their purchases to suggest new items they may want to buy. Are there any disclosures I need to make about my customer data collection?

A: One regulation governing consumer data collection is CalOPPA, a California statute that seeks to improve the transparency of a company’s data privacy practices. A New Hampshire business is subject to CalOPPA if it gathers personal information online about any California resident. 

This information includes first and last names, addresses, emails, telephone numbers, and other similar information. Since most online footprints are nationwide and it is often difficult to differentiate California residents from other customers, businesses should simply comply with CalOPPA to avoid unknowing violations.

CalOPPA requires that a business post its privacy policy on its website identifying exactly what consumer information is collected and with whom that information is shared. The law also requires that the privacy policy inform consumers about the process for reviewing and requesting changes to any information collected, and that it specify how consumers will be notified of changes to the policy. Additionally, the most recent amendments require the privacy policy to detail how the business will respond to web browser “do not track” signals.

Violations of CalOPPA are enforced through California’s Unfair Competition Law. A company that does not comply with CalOPPA may be subject to penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation. With respect to mobile applications, the penalty is assessed each time the application is downloaded by a California resident. 

In 2012, the California Attorney General informed hundreds of noncomplying companies (including those outside of California) that they would be fined if they did not bring their mobile applications into compliance. More recently, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris released a new tool for consumers to report noncomplying websites, mobile applications and online services.

Given the rise in enforcement and the potential risk of exposure, it is crucial that all New Hampshire companies review their privacy policies to ensure compliance with CalOPPA.

Kevin Lin can be reached at kevin.lin@mclane.com.

Know the Law is a bi-weekly column sponsored by McLane Middleton, Professional Association. We invite your questions of business law. Questions and ideas for future columns should be addressed to: McLane Middleton, 900 Elm St., Manchester, NH 03101 or emailed to knowthelaw@mclane.com. Know the Law provides general legal information, not legal advice. We recommend that you consult a lawyer for guidance specific to your particular situation.

Integrity and trust

At McLane Middleton we establish and maintain long-standing relationships with our clients to help us better achieve their unique goals over time. This approach to building trust requires that our esteemed lawyers and professionals use their broad, in-depth knowledge and work together with integrity to ascertain sound resolutions to legal matters for their clients.

Strength in numbers

McLane Middleton is made up of more than 105 attorneys who represent a broad range of clients throughout the region, delivering customized solutions. As a firm we are recognized as having the highest legal ability rating. The firm is rated Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and is recognized as one of the nation's leading law firms in Chambers USA. Our attorneys are distinguished leaders in their respective practice areas.

Meet Our People

Commitment and collaboration

McLane Middleton's versatile group of attorneys and paralegals become trusted authorities on each case through collaboration. We work with our clients to learn their individual needs first and foremost and, together, we develop comprehensive solutions to their specific legal matters. This approach helps us exceed our clients' expectations efficiently and effectively, client by client, case by case.

Practice Areas

A history of excellence

McLane Middleton was established in 1919 in New Hampshire, and has five offices across two states. However, deep historical roots don't allow you to become innate. Our firm is organized, technological, and knowledgeable. Our history means we are recognized. But our reputation is built on the highest quality of service and experience in very specific areas of law.

The Firm

Intelligence paired with action

Our team continuously seeks opportunities to enhance their professional development and put key learnings to action. The pursuit of further insight guides us to volunteer service opportunities, speaking engagements, and teaching roles. Our lawyers are sought after thought leaders across their industries, and recipients of leadership awards throughout the region.